How Monmouth University dropped the ball during campus lockdown
Let's hope Monmouth University officials and police learned a lesson from this bogus lockdown situation that occurred a few nights ago. Let's also hope that they rethink their policies regarding which situations should lead to a total campus lockdown.
Turns out in Wednesday's incident, it was a Monmouth football player who is alleged to have committed the "hold up" using a fake gun. Now I know you'll say "yeah, but what if it had been a real gun?"
Lockdowns are for active, volatile situations with the possibility of mass casualties, injuries or violence. Lockdowns shouldn't happen for random street crimes (Even the ones that turn out to have real guns involved!)
Imagine a campus like Temple or NYU where these things happen once a week! I don't even want to imagine the the abject terror of some of the students when they received a vague text telling them to shelter in place due to an "incident" involving a "gun."
Owing to recent mass shootings and terrorist acts, students are already understandably freaked out. I'm sure some students might've thought this could be the last day of their lives.
During an on-air discussion of the Monmouth University lockdown, many parents called to say I was wrong in questioning the decision that University officials made.
Today, I received a letter from a Monmouth university student whom I will call "Brian."
Brian wrote, equally flummoxed as I was, to share his thoughts on Monmouth's Lockdown. I couldn't agree with him more. Thanks, Bryan, for allowing me to share this. Oh, and for being a man (in the traditional sense of the word.)
Here's his letter:
As I'm sure you know the show this morning talked about Monmouth University and the attempted robbery that took place last night. Well now not only did they probably overreact in response and Judi pointed out but they are offering psychological services for the thousands students that weren't robbed. I wasn't on campus. I was affected. I feel like this is showing how soft we are getting as a communal whole. Here is the email, would be great to know your thoughts!
Dear Monmouth University Students,
I am writing to you in light of the events that occurred last evening.
I know that sometimes it can be extremely helpful after a potentially traumatic event to be able to speak with someone about your thoughts, feelings and reactions. However, I also know that it is sometimes difficult to know where to turn for assistance. Furthermore, it is important to recognize that sometimes when a person experiences a difficult event, like what occurred, the full impact of the event on the individual is not felt immediately and can be delayed or can bring up issues and memories from previous traumatic situations.
It is with this in mind that I am reaching out to you to offer you the opportunity to speak with one of the counselors at Monmouth University’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS). You are not required to participate in these services, but I wanted to make you aware of the services available to all Monmouth students.
If you are interested in speaking with someone about your experience, please walk into CPS, which is located on the 3rd Floor of the Stafford Student Center. Counselors are available from 8:45 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday. You can also contact CPS via email at email@example.com or call us at 732-571-7517, and we can arrange an appointment time for you to be seen.
My best wishes for your continued success as you complete your semester.
Please know that my thoughts are with you and we are here to help.
You are not alone.
Remember, Hawks Fly Together!
Dr. Andrew J. Lee
Counseling and Psychological Services
3rd Floor Rebecca Stafford Student Center
Sorry to point it out, as I know it was well-intentioned, but: This was a huge misstep, Monmouth!
More from New Jersey 101.5: